Territory: a very bordered concept

Room E
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
15.00 – 16.45
border, borderlands studies, political-territorial control, state power, territory

The boost experienced in the number and the multiplicity of scientific performance in border studies during the last decades have already provided with some new ways of thinking to better understand the lines that separate us. It is in line with the common assumption of scholars suggesting that the meaning of borders for societies and their members is much more complex than ever before.

The rise of border studies benefits more and more from interdisciplinary thinking. A wide range of humanities and social sciences has already contributed to the advancement of this field, both in theoretical and methodological terms. An invaluable contribution of this interdisciplinarity is the further evolution of basic notions and concepts.

In this paper I intend to focus on the concept of “territory”, primarily based on the recent definition and argumentation introduced by Stuart Elden (Elden 2010). It appears that territory is an issue of primal importance in the survival and reproduction of borders, as these spaces of state powers would otherwise be meaningless without clear demarcation. If so, it is unclear to what extent can emerging European cross-border interactions on supra- and substate levels achieve their goals. That is the point that I shall investigate through the critical review of a range of EU policy papers.

Márton Pete
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
petemarton [at]

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